Before talking about who the best wedding photojournalist in New York is, or delving into what it would take to earn the title of “best wedding photojournalist in New York”, we should spend a minute talking about what wedding photojournalism actually is.
Wikipedia defines photojournalism as “… a particular form of journalism (the collecting, editing, and presenting of news material for publication or broadcast) that employs images in order to tell a news story. It is now usually understood to refer only to still images, but in some cases the term also refers to video used in broadcast journalism. Photojournalism is distinguished from other close branches of photography (e.g., documentary photography, social documentary photography, street photography or celebrity photography) by complying with a rigid ethical framework which demands that the work be both honest and impartial whilst telling the story in strictly journalistic terms. Photojournalists create pictures that contribute to the news media, and help communities connect with one other. Photojournalists must be well informed and knowledgeable about events happening right outside their door. They deliver news in a creative format that is not only informative, but also entertaining.”
A wedding photojournalist documents the many hours of a wedding day coverage with minimal to absolutely no direction. A wedding photojournalist observes instead of directs. A wedding photojournalist reacts instead of acts. It is the job of a wedding photojournalist to capture moments as they naturally occur, with no input on the staging, posing, or direction of the scene. A wedding photojournalist might refer to their work as photojournalism, but he or she might also call it documentary in style, editorial, or even candid. All of those words usually mean “wedding photojournalism.”
Wedding photojournalism is not when a photographer sets up moments to “look candid.” Many photographers practice this style of “wedding photojournalism”, and it be very confusing to prospective brides and grooms. I have had many clients ask me when I’m going to set up “the candids”, because they have worked with other “wedding photojournalism photographers” who staged moments to look as though they naturally occurred that way.
A true wedding photojournalist will not do that! A true wedding photojournalist will wait for the moments, documenting them as they take place. That wedding photojournalist will not fake the moments. There is a big difference.
If you are unsure if your prospective wedding photographer is a wedding photojournalist, simply ask him or her how they approach documenting moments. Ask if he or she will stop the moments to redo them if they’re “wrong” or if they want to get a better shot. Ask him or her if he or she will stage the moments for you. If the answer to any of the staging questions is yes, then that wedding photographer is not a wedding photojournalist.
There is nothing wrong with that! Every wedding photographer has his or her own style. That’s a wonderful thing, because it means there is a photographer for everyone out there. It’s just difficult to properly educate prospective clients about your style if you’re a true wedding photojournalist.
When other photographers say they do what you do, but they actually do it differently, that creates confusion. The way to clear up that confusion is to simply ask, but many clients don’t know the questions to ask. Now you do!
If you’re looking for the best wedding photojournalist in New York for your wedding, there are some things you can look for. This takes us back to the definition of wedding photojournalism, and the definition and description of photojournalism itself.
You’re looking for the following things from your prospective wedding photographer:
How do you know when a photographer is technically proficient? How do you know if a photographer has a good eye for composition? How do you know?
Photography is an art, but photography is also a technical skill. You cannot just pick up a camera one day and call yourself a wedding photographer any more than you can pick up a scalpel one day and declare yourself a surgeon. Whether you obtain your photography education through a self-taught program or if you went to college for photography, you must take the time to learn the technical side of the craft.Keywords: connecticut (3), family and bridal party (33), keeler (3), moment (27), prep for portfolio (57), ridgefield (3), the hickories (3), wedding (69). 1/400; f/4.0; ISO 450; 116.0 mm.